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Research Associate

Apply now Department: 3670010110 Plant Pathology
Job no: 512816
Employment type: Staff Full Time (Unclassified - Term)
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Worksite: On-site requirement
Categories: Agriculture, Research / Scientific / Grants, Natural / Quantitative Sciences, Plant Sciences
Pay Grade: 08B

About This Role:

The Wheat Genetic Resource Center (WGRC) in the department of Plant Pathology at Kansas State University is seeking a Computational Biologist or Bioinformatics Scientist. The successful candidate will join a vibrant team of researchers investigating diverse aspects of wheat genetics and genomics focusing on the development of resources, tools, and strategies to identify and deploy beneficial wild relative diversity in breeding. The WGRC team uses a rich collection of wild relative germplasm, and a modern arsenal of genetics and genomics tools and resources combined with high-throughput phenotyping technologies to prioritize close and distant relatives of wheat for introgression into adapted varieties and assess their value for improving agronomic traits. This position’s focus will be on the computational analyses of large-scale phenomic and genomic data to investigate connections between wild-relative genomic variation and plant-level phenotypes. The successful candidate will identify valuable alleles and genes predictive of adaption to biotic and abiotic stress factors and variation in wheat productivity and end-use quality traits and will help prioritize genomic variation for incorporation into the wheat pre-breeding and breeding pipelines.

A successful candidate should have graduate level training in the fields of bioinformatics, quantitative genetics, or genetics, and will:

  • Analyze large-scale datasets including whole genome sequences, RNA-seq profiling, genome-wide sequence variation, metabolomics and phenotyping datasets.
  • Collaborate with research team members on projects aimed at prioritizing genomic variants for breeding and genome engineering.
  • Lead the development of genomic databases, and their integration with public genomic resources to facilitate data mining.
  • Train graduate and undergraduate students in analytical techniques relevant to research work performed.
  • Develop and maintain data storage, organization, and processing capabilities of the on-going research projects.

The candidate will have access to high performance computing resources of the KSU Beocat cluster (, modern genomic instrumentation through the KSU Integrated Genomics Facility ( and have a chance to interact with vibrant KSU research programs in plant genetics and genomics. For details about position please contact Eduard Akhunov (

Why Join Us:

Kansas State University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, paid time off – vacation, sick, and holidays.   To see what benefits are available, please visit:

We Support Diversity and Inclusion:

Kansas State University embraces diversity and inclusion.  The university actively seeks individuals who foster a collegial environment and cooperative interactions with coworkers, students, and others.  The University is dedicated to promoting the Principles of Community.

What You’ll Need to Succeed:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Masters degree in bioinformatics, computer/data science, genetics or other related fields.
  • Two years of experience in the application of bioinformatical and statistical tools for analyzing genomic and phenotypic datasets in plant genetics programs. As well as experience with building relational databases for storing and retrieval of genomic and phenotypic data.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D in the fields of bioinformatics, quantitative genetics, or genetics.
  • Two or more years of experience in the application of bioinformatical and statistical tools for analyzing genomic and phenotypic datasets in plant genetics programs. As well as experience with building relational databases for storing and retrieval of genomic and phenotypic data.
  • Understanding of basic principles of major genomic technologies (next generation sequencing, RNA-seq, genomic variant calling etc.).
  • Familiarity with machine learning techniques.
  • Familiarity with at least one major programming language (Perl or Python, Java), and statistical computing environment (R or SAS)
  • Excellent knowledge of experimental design and statistical techniques applied in analyzing big data.
  • Excellent organizational and written/verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work in multicultural environment.

How to Apply:

Please submit the following documents:

  1. Curriculum Vitae with a list of publications
  2. Statement of research interest
  3. List of at least three professional references with contact information

Screening of Applications Begins:

Immediately. For best consideration, apply by 5/15/2023.

Anticipated Hiring Salary Range:


Equal Employment Opportunity:

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

Background Screening Statement:

In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.

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